An interview with dark artist Stanislav Krawczyk August 22, 2016 – Posted in: Artist Interviews, INTENEBRIS Interviews – Tags: art, artist, artist signature collection, cerebral palsy foundation, collaboration, dart art, drawings, interview, jewelry, ring, stan darkart, stanislav krawczyk
*English is not Stan’s first language and thus, much of this interview has been edited with his approval.
JS: First off I just want to thank you for allowing me to collaborate with you. It is an honor.
SK: Thank you too. Big fan here.
JS: You are too kind. For all of the people who are new to your work, tell us a little about yourself.
SK: My name is Stanislav Krawczyk, and I am a dark artist. I was born in Ukraine and almost half of my life was spent in hospitals. There is a lot of serious discrimination against people with disabilities there. They would not allow me to go to work or school, or interact with others. I have a lot of bad memories of that place. I eventually made my escape to Los Angeles and now I live and work here. Basically, Ukraine is a bad place for dark art. Especially when you represent a radical form of dark art.
JS: I could imagine. Your work carries a very unique and powerful energy. The emotions these pieces carry are very intense, and I think that resonates with people who come across it. I can certainly feel it.
JS: Do you know what happened to your first drawings?
SK: At the beginning, my hands were so paralyzed that I could barely draw, so that my drawings were just black or red spots. Most of them got lost.
JS: What was it that lead you to your current style? Was it a gradual thing, or did it happen suddenly?
SK: There’s a few different ways you can look at it, but I think mostly it was because at the beginning, my hands were paralyzed. Especially the left side for a long time. I couldn’t draw normal because of my condition. It was a battle because, for example, I could not even hold a cup or put on my own shoes.
Most of my drawings come from experiences I’ve had. A lot of it is pain. I was born with cerebral palsy and my arms and legs were mostly paralyzed, so that communication with the outside world was severely limited. Also, my left eye is almost totally blind, which has a huge affect on my art. Those experiences come out with my art. I always drew. It is how I express myself. Perhaps it was that kind of therapy. The first pictures that I made were probably something like a red spot with a pencil. I always note what was happening inside of me and tried even then to put all my emotions into it.
JS: Have the issues gotten better with time? I remember hearing you were getting corrective surgeries
SK: Yes of course it was like a miracle and my problems are not as severe, but that does not mean that I am completely healthy. I had 2 operations on my feet which were deformed because they were stuck in the same position without movement and so there was a severe danger of bone fractures. I still have problems with the left side of my body.
JS: Do you feel that your style has evolved more since you gained back mobility in your hands?
SK: Yes very much.
JS: Health care in Ukraine is not the best either from what I hear.
SK: It’s not a hospital in the normal sense. It is more like a psycho/house of horror/hollywood film =).
JS: Well it’s good you still have your sense of humor!
SK: Well it saved me, but it’s very dark.
JS: What are your plans for the future with regards to your style. Are you considering other themes? or other mediums?
SK: I think that I feel most comfortable as a draftsman. Left eye is so blurry it’s almost completely blind. My right eye is better but is still not well. The red color I use is no accident. I only see high-contrast colors when I draw.
JS: I noticed that you are working with models now
SK: I have been for a long time here and there. It is easier for me to find characters in them. A number of the first drawings I did back in the hospital were with models. I am a big fan of anything “alternative culture”. Say, gothic. Gothic girls, especially in underground magazines.
JS: Underground gothic magazines?
SK: In Europe it’s very popular, sort of like tattoo magazines are now. My friend Paul Komoda probably has a whole list of all the ones he has. Model magazines like that. The models are close friends, like my sisters-in-arms. I really appreciate their support. I hope soon to be able to create a series of joint exhibitions with them, but so far it’s just a plan. A Big one =).
JS: You did some collaborative pieces with Paul Komoda as well.
SK: Yes. We were at a cafe in Los Angeles, and the idea came up spontaneously. But I had always wanted to collaborate with him.
JS: So you came to the states primarily to pursue your art career?
SK: It was like a miracle. I was invited by a gallery to be in a group show in the US, and then of course the dream. I was invited to a solo show a year later, and more exhibitions after that. My art was next to the entire list of dark art stars I would only be able to read about while I was growing up in the hospital. Clive Barker, Chet Zar, Paul Booth, Vincent Castiglia.. and I am a big fan of all of them.
JS: Same here. Chet in particular, I have been in love with his art since I was at least 14 or 15 years old.
SK: I participated in an annual show curated by Chet Zar called Conjoined. 4 times I think or more.. I’m a big fan of Chet since childhood. He had a great influence on my art and I would say he was crucial to what I’m doing now. The fact that we’re friends now is perhaps also a miracle, and the most important event in my life and in my art too.
JS: Chet really is a great guy. I have a lot to thank him for too. This line of signature artist pieces started because Chet saw my work and wanted to collaborate haha. I’m extremely thankful for all the friendships I’ve gained within the art community. Vincent is another really great guy too. And he’s a fan of yours as well.
What gallery was your first?
SK: Hyaena Gallery in Burbank. Then Copro Gallery, Last Rites in NYC, and recently Ars Memoria in Chicago.
JS: There is a really healthy community of dark art lovers on the West Coast.
SK: There is a large collection of dark art, and the art of serial killers =)
JS: I’m very excited about our collaboration.
SK: Me too! Crazy like a dark art fan girl =)
JS: Haha! We’re on the same page then! This piece was particularly hard because of your style… It was EXTREMELY challenging to interpret into a physical piece. But what came out I think was pretty close
SK: Very. Art is Pain.
JS: Are you a big fan of jewelry? Or do you wear any now?
SK: Yes I’m a fan. I don’t wear it only because I spend so much time in the studio.
JS: I know what you mean! I could get slammed for saying this but, I work so much on the jewelry that I never get to actually wear it!
SK: Yes. Art Kills =).
JS: Truer words were never spoken.
JS: Are you liking it here in the US?
SK: Yes of course. I work with the gallery and from time to time. I try to draw for films. I did drawings for a horror film, but I can’t say which one yet.
JS: Really? That is amazing. It must be such a relief to be doing what you love after all the struggling
SK: Yes. I am able to say all the idols of my childhood are now my friends.
JS: That’s awesome man. And it’s also very empowering for people to know that you do what you do despite what you struggle with. You are an inspiration my friend.
SK: Yes =). If we talk about the list of life dreams, some of them I have already done.
JS: What else is on your list what you want to do next?
SK: I would really like to draw more attention to this issue, and to help people who struggle with cerebral palsy. This problem has been the first in the list. I am hoping that my future solo exhibition or say maybe a biographical documentary film might help with this.
JS: I think you are already doing a very good job of that. And I think you will continue to do so.
INTENEBRIS X STANISLAV KRAWCZYK: PAIN (limited edition)
“PAIN”, a limited edition collaboration between Stanislav Krawczyk & Intenebris designer Jonathan Silva, is a sterling silver ring created with the intention of bringing Stan’s unorthodox artistic style to physical, 3-dimensional form. The result is this unique special edition ring. $5 of every purchase will be donated to the Cerebral Palsy Foundation to aid research on how to help people who suffer from this terrible disease.
With the official release date approaching very soon, we wanted to make this unique piece available for purchase as soon as possible, and so customers will be able to access the presale page here:
In addition to the rings being made available for purchase, the original art upon which this collaboration was based, will also be available for purchase on Stan’s website
You can follow Stan on his social media or purchase his original artwork here: